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2012 Ford Mustang

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2012 Ford Mustang Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.0

Ford's iconic pony car, the 2012 Mustang, keeps going strong. Although some may argue the 2012 Mustang's styling isn't as eye-popping as the Camaro, its performance easily matches its long-time Chevy rival and others, including the Dodge Challenger and Hyundai Genesis. With the base car's V6 engine producing 305 horsepower – more than some V8s of just a few years back – the Mustang is not only fast, it's affordable. The GT model is a V8-powered dynamo with a snarling exhaust note, available 6-speed manual transmission and ripping performance. More than just a flashback, the newest Mustang also attracts younger buyers who want the experience of a torque-heavy V8. Available in Coupe or Convertible, V6, V8, high-performance V8 (Boss 302) and screamingly fast V8 (Shelby GT500), the 2012 Ford Mustang isn't all things to all people, but it comes close.

You'll Like This Car If...

Whether you're looking for a fun and affordable sports car to relive your youth, or a fast and furious street rod to keep you from growing old, there's a 2012 Mustang with your name on it. With 31-mpg for the V6 car and the SYNC voice-activated communications system as key selling points, the Mustang is as modern as it is retro.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those who seek an independent rear suspension, a muted purr from the engine and styling more at home at the Opera than a NASCAR event might prefer a more subdued (and probably pricier) European sports car. While the 2012 Ford Mustang is fun for two, its rear seat is best suited to children or very limber adults.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Mustang receives a new selectable steering setup that includes Sport, Comfort and Standard modes, and the Mustang Boss 302 limited-run model debuts touting 444 horsepower. New features available on the 2012 Ford Mustang include dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, a remote garage door opener, the Reverse Sensing System and HID headlamps.

Driving the Mustang

Driving Impressions Refusing to give up its solid rear axle design, Ford has created for the 2012 Mustang an inexpensive rear suspension that performs quite well and is as comfortable in cruise...

as it is quick in the corners. The driver selectable steering enhances feel, response and predictability. Add in the AdvanceTrac stability control system and powerful anti-lock disc brakes, and the 2012 Ford Mustang maintains its composure quite well in the turns, although the back end can be made to step out when too much throttle is applied – which immediately activates the stability control. The GT has a driver selectable AdvanceTrac system that includes a less restrictive Sport mode. In V6 form, the 2012 Mustang delivers up 305 horsepower and packs a punch, yet still tops the 30-mpg mark in highway driving. The heart and soul of the Mustang, however, is the 5.0-liter V8, with 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque and matched with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic.

3.7-liter V6
Unless you absolutely revel in the idea of having a V8, the new 3.7-liter V6 is more than enough engine, producing horsepower and torque figures that surpass the output of many previous-generation Mustang GTs!

Comprehensive Interior Upgrades
Better quality and enhanced features make it a much nicer world inside every 2012 Mustang. Highlighting the mix are a one-piece soft-touch dash and more finger-friendly controls that are further complemented by variable interior ambient lighting and, on Premium models, selectable MyColor illumination.

2012 Ford Mustang Details
Interior

The 2012 Ford Mustang's interior is a great place to spend time. Traditional design elements from the first Mustang include a soft-touch one-piece dash pad, bright chrome accents and brushed aluminum trim. Highlights include a 160-mph speedometer, Ford's MyColor configurable dash that allows the driver to choose from 125 color combinations, and an 8-inch color touch-screen for the optional navigation system. Thanks to an extensive use of sound deadening material, the 2012 Mustang's interior is exceedingly quiet even with the roaring V8 engine. We like the Mustang's front seats very much, finding them both supportive yet snug enough to hold one in place during aggressive driving.

Exterior

The 2012 Ford Mustang shows originality and retro. Historical elements that made the first car such a hit include the galloping pony in the grille and the staggered sequential LED rear turn indicators. But the 2012 Mustang's power-bulged hood, big wheels and steeply-raked windshield never appeared on the original model. The integrated headlamp/turn-indicator unit pays homage to the 1970 Mustang, while the big 5.0-liter badges on the GT's front fenders play up on the 1980s Mustang. A wide and deep grille insert serves as the backdrop for a more stylized galloping pony emblem as well as prominent fog lamps on GT models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2012 Ford Mustangs are impressively packaged. Even the base V6 comes with air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless remote entry, AM/FM/CD stereo with AUX input, Selectable Electronic Power Steering Assist (EPAS), cruise control, Electronic Stability Control (ESC; includes anti-lock brakes), front and front-side airbags, and Ford's SOS Post-Crash Alert system. The Premium versions add leather upholstery, trim enhancements, an upgraded instrument cluster with MyColor variable lighting, Shaker 500 audio system with SYNC and SIRIUS Satellite Radio, power driver's seat, and a split-folding rear seat on coupes. The GT has a 412-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 engine, automatic headlamps, rear spoiler, fog lamps, a black-chrome pony grille badge, and cloth instead of synthetic material on the Convertible's power top.

Optional Equipment

Key extras for the base V6 2012 Mustang are a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Reverse Sensing System and Security Package, and a Convertible soft boot. The V6 Premium offers the base-level upgrades plus the V6 Performance Package (strut tower brace, larger anti-roll bars, 19-inch black painted wheels, recalibrated electronic stability control, performance brake pads and a 3.31:1 rear axle ratio). The GT Premium offers the California Special package (chrome billet grille, side scoops and 19-inch wheels). The GT trim offers the Brembo Brake Package, recalibrated stability program and 19-inch wheels with P255/40R19 tires. HID bi-xenon headlamps, a glass roof, back-up camera and several packages – including the Electronic (Navigation with SIRIUS, HD Radio and dual-zone auto climate control) and Comfort (leather-trimmed heated front seats and a six-way power passenger seat) – are available on Premium versions.

Under the Hood

The base 2012 Ford Mustang is powered by an all-aluminum 3.7-liter V6 engine featuring dual overhead cams (DOHC) and Twin-Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT). The result is 305 horsepower with fuel economy comparable to some four-cylinder cars. Ford's 6-speed automatic features a "Hill Mode" function that extends gear operation on uphill climbs and provides additional engine braking upon descent; Ford does not offer a manually-selectable shift program with this transmission. Stepping up to the 5.0-liter V8 (also equipped with Ti-VCT technology) brings 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque; the Boss 302 has 444 horsepower and 380 lb-ft Our time in the Mustang GT produced zero-to-60-mph runs under five seconds.


3.7-liter DOHC V6
305 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy 19/29 (manual), 19/31 (automatic)

5.0-liter DOHC V8
412 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
390 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
444 horsepower @ 7,400 rpm (Boss 302)
380 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm (Boss 302)
EPA city/highway fuel economy 17/26 (manual), 18/25 (automatic)

5.4-liter supercharged V8
550 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
510 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23

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2012 Ford Mustang Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 1655 Ratings for the 2005 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

great handling sport type car for the money.

By on Friday, July 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "can not beat the mustang for price for a sporty ca"

Cons: "lacks some of the amenities in pricier cars"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Like the driving, sound and performance. back seat is not very usable for real people, maybe kids. trunk is small, but performance makes up for all deficiencies"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Nice designed mustang but not the best

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,600

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Powerful and quick for the price"

Cons: "design flaws have been addressed in later models"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Ford did a good job of uping the power and torque from the 2010. The 2011 and 12' design does have some flaws. The appearance to me is the best it's been since the 70s. Sleek powerful lines and an aggressive front end. The spoiler would be its only downfall along with the plastic unpainted rear diffuser and rocker panels. The spoiler is so small don't know why the even bothered putting it on there. The solid rear axle has that mustang of old feel but it definitely makes for a bumpy ride. The m82 transmission is an upgrade from previous models in my opinion. The clutch is comfy and the gear ratio is awesome. The hood needs to be vented like the 13' and 14 models the motor has trouble with heat exchange. Definitely power loss when it's warm outside. I love the way engine looks though with the hood up. Very quick car and very upgradeable. Best in power for around 30k and they seem to be holding their value. Do not use any other motor oil besides 5w20 though or you will experience can timing issues. The variable cam timing is very sensitive, and adhere to all maintenance if you expect to use your power train warranty from ford."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Easily the best car i've EVER bought.

By on Thursday, July 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "Cup holder in line with shifter. kinda annoying."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is car is the most fun you can buy, Its incredibly comfortable, and reliable. I haven't had any problems with it, and its rides a smooth as a dream. has tons of power, yet still gets around 23-24 mpg highway. with a simple exhaust mod it sounds amazing, yet doesn't bother you on the highway, this is the most bang for your buck you will get on a muscle/ sports car. I recommend."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Got it Right!

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Excellent combination of speed & handling"

Cons: "Stiff suspension, little room in back seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The car is built for the track, yet doesn't jar your teeth on the #2 setting on the struts when driving on country roads. Engine smooth as silk in all types of driving and revs quickly to its 7,400 rpm redline. The so called "drone" isn't noticeable especially if you listen to the radio. If you like the sound of American Muscle cars you'll be hard pressed to find another that has the menacing rumble / roar this car produces. Car handles extremely well, better than what most amateur drivers can handle. I'm 6' tall and have no problem positioning the seat for comfort and access to the clutch and accelerator. I find I can fix my right heel and easily rotate between the brake and accelerator without lifting my foot off the floorpan. Negatives? I have to nit pick, one is the design of the steering wheel. I love the feel, but would prefer if the two spokes were at the 4 and 8 position instead of 3 & 9. The Mustang in the center of the wheels should all face forward as opposed to 2 on the opposite side of the car facing backward. The shifter should have come with a fixed billet mount under the car instead of the soft rubber. Also, should have provided a one piece aluminum driveshaft instead of a 43 lb two piece, that's just lame for a $45k car. Are there other cars faster, that handle better? Sure if you are willing to pay. However, it comes down to why you want to own the car, is it just about speed and/or handling, or do you also want to be part of the Heritage this car represents. You can buy a Mustang GT or Camaro and make it fast or faster and possibly even handle better for less, but even if you make it look exactly alike, it will NEVER be a BOSS 302 and only 3,250 were built."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

A Great Car

By on Friday, July 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought the car used when it was 8 years old for 8500 and have now owned it for over 2 years. It was in very good condition and has remained that way. The car is exactly what it's suppose to be, a sporty eye catcher with a bit of power. Pros: It does have power, even a now 10 year old Auto V6 still has some pop to it, I once drove a Prius while my car was in the shop...let's just say there is a difference. The design is sweet, it so far has had great performance from the engine and transmission after 140k miles (I have drove 50k of them). Cons:The car drives poorly in the snow. Put some weight in the back, it's a rear wheel drive Mustang... this should be a given. There is a common problem I have found of the instrument cluster becoming dysfunctional, and there is really no way to find a better product to resolve the issue. If you buy one and it hasn't happened yet be prepared to spend 300-1000 for a new or used one. The regular maintenance seems to come on quick (ball joints, tie rod ends, AC has been serviced twice, Radio, Iv'e had to have 2 alignments)...but I guess a lot of that is expected. Over all it has been a great buy! I am looking forward to driving this guy for many more miles."

13 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Bang for the buck

By on Saturday, July 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Power, fun to drive. Looks and sounds awesome."

Cons: "Cheap interior."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"If you want an affordable muscle car. This is the car. 0-60 under 5 seconds, sounds spectacular under acceleration. Smooth manual transmission. Seats are comfortable. Handling is muscle car good but not sports car good. The interior is somewhat cheap, but that's not why you buy this car. Average gas mileage 18mpg. This is not a car to take on long trips, the power translates through the cab and gear box I ended up with serious fatigue after only a few hours on the road. Plus the range is only around 300miles per tank. I drive to and from work daily and use it for a weekend drive. The modification are endless and affordable. For about 10k you can increase HP to over 600 and for another 1k improve on the handling significantly. There are better handling stock cars out there but expect to pay an extra 15k for those cars with less power. I recommend lowering the car first and foremost 1.5in at each corner. And dump the back seat it's worthless."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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